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Bebe expects to close all it stores by the end of May

NEW YORK (AP) — Clothing chain Bebe says it expects to close all its stores by the end of May, making it the latest retail casualty of the migration to online shopping.

The Brisbane, California-based chain had said earlier this month it would close 21 stores and “explore options” for the remaining locations. In a regulatory filing, it said it expects to recognize an impairment charge of about $20 million as a result of the closing of all its stores. The chain had recently said it had more than 130 retail stores and more than 30 outlet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. It also offers branded products elsewhere and operates bebe.com.

Others chains that have shuttered all their stores or retrenched include Abercrombie & Fitch, BCBG, The Limited and Wet Seal. Department store operators have also suffered, with Macy’s and J.C. Penney among those that are trimming locations.

Bebe Stores Inc. started in 1976 and describes itself as staying true to its “assertive, provocative origins.” The company says its name is inspired by Shakespeare’s words, “To be, or not to be.”

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